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Facts and Logic About
the Middle East
P.O. Box 590359
San Francisco, CA 94159
November 2, 2004
Friend of FLAME:
This week's FLAME Hotline features our latest published message, which
appeared in more than 20 publications nationwide, including U.S.
News & World Report. We're sending it to you in case you did
not see it in the media and because it addresses two critical issues
in the debate over Middle East peace: 1) "Palestinian land"
and 2) "Arab humiliation." Both of these terms are used freely
by pro-Islamist advocates and often, unfortunately, by American media.
This piece, the second in a two-part series on Arab propaganda written
by FLAME president, Gerardo Joffe, exposes these phrases as propaganda.
(You can find the first part of the series---and many other useful articles---by
clicking on the "Our ads and positions" button in the left
column of this Hotline.)
More examples of Arab propaganda, giving new meaning to old words.
In the previous of this series of hasbarah (educating and clarifying)
messages, we described how Arab propaganda systematically twists words
and phrases so that eventually they come to mean almost the exact opposite
of their original intent. We discussed Terrorists and Freedom
Fighters and Dishonor in the Muslim World. Here are
two more examples of such twisting of language, and there are many more
What are the facts?
Palestinian land: A great hue and cry has arisen about
the Israeli barrier (called the apartheid wall by its noisy
detractors). At a cost of billions of dollars, Israel has been forced
to erect such a barrier in order to safeguard itself against constant
murderous attacks that have so far cost over 1,000 Israeli lives and
have hurt and mutilated thousands more.
Fourteen out of fifteen judges of the International Court of Justice
have condemned this barrier as illegal. The only laudable
exception to this lopsided and totally unwarranted decision was that
of the U.S. judge on this (otherwise kangaroo) court. What particularly
agitated the judges was that this barrier allegedly intrudes on Palestinian
land. But, of course, there is no such thing as Palestinian
land. The Palestinians do not own any land in Judea/Samaria (the
West Bank). That land, originally part of the Ottoman Empire,
became part of the British Palestine mandate after the First World War
and was allocated as part of the Jewish homeland by the Balfour Declaration.
In the War of Liberation of 1948, right at the birth of Israel, the
invading Jordanian army occupied that territory and assumed possession.
In the Six-Day War, Israel repulsed the attack and stayed in possession
of the territory.
Judea/Samaria (the West Bank) is therefore part of Israel.
If at some future date Israel should decide to relinquish any part of
that territory to a Palestinian entity, then it would indeed become
Palestinian land. But right now, there is no such thing. Palestinian
lands do not exist. It is a twisted phrase, created by Arab propaganda
to score public relations points and to create confusion in an uninformed
Arab humiliation: A great deal of ink is being spent
on Arab humiliation at the hands of the Israelis. There
are almost daily stories in the papers deploring the endless delays
that Arabs suffer at being stopped and interrogated and in some cases
searched at one of the many check points. Those delays, which undoubtedly
are major inconveniences and annoyances to the Arabs, have one purpose
only, namely to reduce and to the degree possible to prevent altogether
the passage of suicide bombers that have so far caused so many Jewish
The Arabs have brought those miseries upon themselves with their intifada,
now over four years old. There were no check points and no delays before
that started. And what could one say about women who, feigning pregnancy,
carry explosives under their garments and blow up the female guards
who examine them and all others around them? Or what about little children
in ambulances who are supposedly in urgent need of quick passage (to
a Jewish hospital), but who have bombs hidden in their gurneys, ready
to explode and to kill?
But how about the humiliation and annoyance that the Jews
have to endure? For Jews, normal life in Israel has practically ended.
Motorists in Israel expose themselves to a gauntlet of sniper fire on
the highways. Most school trips have been canceled for fear of attack
on the children, similar to what the Moslem barbarians have just perpetrated
in Russia. Social occasions, such as weddings or bar mitzvahs, cant
take place unless armed guards are provided. Restaurants, movies, stores
and parking lots have to be heavily guarded. Arabs, on the other hand,
can freely move through any part of Israel, the cities and the countryside,
without any fear of attack. They need not protect their schools or their
places of worship, their restaurants, grocery shops or other places
where people gather. And they need not fear for their children and that
Jews are going to blow them up.
The prevention of Islamic terror is an enormous burden on Israel. Fully
three percent of the countrys $40 billion GNP goes to protection
against terror. The Palestinians brought their misery upon themselves,
but the Jews suffer much more from the necessary security precautions
than they do. Arab humiliation is a twisted phrase, invented
and endlessly promoted by Arab propaganda in order to engage the sympathy
of the world.
The Arab Moslems have launched three major wars against Israel and have
engaged in a constant war of attrition, in order to destroy what they
call the Zionist entity (another twisted phrase). Unable
to defeat Israel militarily, they have resorted to an endless war of
propaganda, in which twisted words and phrases play a major role. They
have been quite successful at that. Peace cannot come about until the
Arab world is willing to wholeheartedly accept Israel and to forget
about military action and the war of propaganda. But that day, if it
is to come at all, is not yet in sight.
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